Suchitra Sen

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Suchitra was one of finest actors I’ve seen: Lata Mangeshkar

Legendary actor Suchitra Sen, also known as the Greta Garbo of Bengali cinema who gave memorable performances in Hindi films as well, died of a heart attack on Friday. She was 82.

Lata Mangeshkar, the fan, remembers the actor. Suchitra Sen was one of the finest actors I have ever seen. When she did Hindi films, she would come to Mumbai. She did Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955), in which she starred opposite Dilip Kumar. She was amazing. I have seen Devdas at least 10-15 times.

We used to hardly know or meet any actors back then. We went to studios and recorded our songs. Later, it would get filmed on the actor.

However,  I did meet her once. I was recording Tera Jaana Dil... for Anari . I found her sitting outside, listening to it. I couldn’t wait to go and speak to her. She insisted I speak in Bengali. Since I sang quite a few songs in Bengali, she assumed I could speak the language.

I told her that I don’t know Bengali, but she asked me to say, “Khub bhalo (very good)”. I told her I knew the meaning of this phrase. I never met her again.

Later, I sang for her in films like Aandhi (1975) and Mamta (1966). She looked so nice in Mamta, and the song Rahen Na Rahen Hum from the film turned out to be a rage. Even now, when I listen to that song, I see her face.

I am big fan of her acting. I loved her so much that I sourced the tapes of all her films. I still have those tapes preserved carefully.

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